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2 Fil-Ams, gunman killed in Pearl Harbor attack

Honolulu—Two men with Filipino lineage were killed by the US sailor who took his own life in a Wednesday gun attack at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii, US Navy officials said Friday (Saturday in Manila).

Roldan Agustin, 49, and Vincent Kapoi Jr., 30, were fatally shot by Gabriel Romero, who also injured another before turning the gun on himself, officials said at a news conference.

The isolated attack, witnessed by shipyard employees in an area with thousands of workers, unfolded in about 23 seconds, Navy officials added. No motive had been identified yet for the shooting, but there’s no evidence of domestic terrorism, they said.

“This has been a devastating week for our Navy family,” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday said. “When tragedy hits, as it did Wednesday in Pearl Harbor, it is felt by all.”

It was not known if Romero, who was from Texas, knew his victims.

He was dead when authorities arrived and was armed for his job standing watch and providing security for the USS Columbia. The fast-attack submarine is at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for maintenance, officials said.

Born in Laoag City, Agustin moved to Hawaii when he was 2, his mother, Ida Agustin, said through tears.

“He’s a good man. I’m so sorry, anak ko, I’m still shaking,” she added Friday, using the phrase “my child” in Ilocano, a Filipino language.

Agustin served in the Navy and retired from the Army National Guard, then became a metals inspector at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, family members said.

In a statement, his brother said Agustin enjoyed working on cars with his friends and spending time with family.

“We will forever remember Roldan to be humble and honest, and a generous and patient man,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Kapoi graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2011 and was proud of his Native Hawaiian and Filipino heritage, college roommate Daniel Vu told news website Honolulu Civil Beat.

Vu described Kapoi as a soft-spoken and hardworking “family guy” who woke up at 3 a.m. to work at the fishing docks to pay for tuition. 

“He was very giving, very generous and willing to sacrifice a lot,” Vu said. “He was one of the good guys out there.”

Kapoi’s wife, Tara, said he grew up in Waianae, a town on the west side of Oahu.

“We don’t know what happened,” she said Thursday, asking for privacy.

A family statement described Kapoi as an “easy-going, fun-loving, ‘let’s do this’ man” they would never forget. 

William and Sista Kahiamoe have lived next door to the Kapoi family for about 21 years and said Vincent Kapoi followed his father into civilian work at the shipyard. They said Vincent’s brother now lives in the home.

“He was a good boy, I know that. Took care of his mom when she was sick,” Sista Kahiamoe said. “He was really good.” Services for Kapoi are scheduled for Dec. 15. 

Topics: gun attack , Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard , US Navy , Roldan Agustin , Vincent Kapoi Jr. , Gabriel Romero
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